Business & Finance

Fortune June 15, 2017

FORTUNE covers the entire field of business, including specific companies and business trends, tech innovation prominent business leaders, and new ideas shaping the global marketplace. FORTUNE is particularly well known for its exceptionally reliable annual rankings of companies. FORTUNE furthers understanding of the economy, provides implementable business strategy, and gives you the practical knowledge you need to maximize your own success. Fortune currently publishes 3 double issues. Each count as two of 12 issues in an annual subscription.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
rebel territory

As I said, not exactly establishment. So the fact that Tesla, one of several innovative companies that Musk is juggling, is now a newly minted member of the 500 Club—arriving for the first time this year on Fortune’s annual register of the biggest U.S. companies—might strike some as a curious, if marvelous, oddity: the brash, antiestablishment carmaker parked in one of the reserved spaces for America’s corporate elite. Cool beans. Some, no doubt, felt the same surprise when Reed Hastings’s Netflix knocked on the club doors two years ago. Or in 2013, when a tee-clad Mark Zuckerberg showed up with the social media dominion he had founded just nine years earlier. Or in 2006, when a couple of cerebral Stanford grads, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, crashed through the 500’s gates with their…

3 min.
the death of retail is greatly exaggerated

CLOSER LOOK IT’S NOT EVEN HALF OVER, and 2017 has already been a year for the record books for traditional retailers. Just not in the way they would like. National brands like J.C. Penney, Macy’s, and Sears kicked off the year by reporting awful holiday season results—and then announcing hundreds of store closings. Big names from Ralph Lauren to Staples followed suit, bringing the number of national chains’ store closings to a whopping 2,770 as of mid-May. Credit Suisse in April forecast that 2017 would see the highest number of closures since the Great Recession. Then there are the bankruptcies, including oncevibrant chains like the Limited, Payless ShoeSource, and RadioShack. As of early May, S&P Global Market Intelligence tallied a record 18 retail bankruptcies, already matching the total for all of 2016.…

1 min.
analytics: seeing trends in the data

• MIGRATION SORRY,URBANITES: PEOPLESTILLLOVE SUNBELTSUBURBS This decade, Americans were supposed to flock en masse to cities—and for the first five years they did, reversing suburbs’ historic surge in prior years. But according to new data, in 2016 suburbs’ population gains outpaced cities’ for the first time since 2010. The Sunbelt’s suburbs grew the fastest, far surpassing the Snowbelt’s cities (and its suburbs). To be sure, this is just one bad year for cities: It could be a blip—or it could be a return to old habits. • METRO AREA WHERE SUBURBS GREW MORE THAN THE PRIMARY CITY • AREA WHERE CITY GREW MORE THAN THE SUBURBS • BIG BUSINESS IF YOUBET ONTHEFORTUNE 500, YOUBEAT THEMARKET LET’S SAY YOU BOUGHT $2 worth of stock of every company on the Fortune 500 list in 2000, for $1,000. Then in…

1 min.
get ready for fast furniture

TECHNOLOGY BY VIRTUE of its inventory, the furniture industry is a bit clunky. But it’s about to get a lot nimbler, thanks to technological breakthroughs and shifting consumer demands. Today’s home-goods shoppers want the same things they want from their clothing retailers: speed, affordability, and wide selections. Disruptive “fast fashion” chains like Zara and H&M have trained consumers to expect up-to-theminute trends. Now people approach decorating their home “very similarly to how they engage with their wardrobes,” says Noa Santos, CEO and cofounder of Homepolish, an on-demand interior design service. “A space is never really done.” Plus, the idea of waiting eight weeks for a couch delivery seems absurd, especially to younger consumers. The shift has created an opening for upstarts like Cloth & Company, which launched in 2016. Taking advantage of…

1 min.
astockmarket skepticeyes thetrump bump

1 You saw the dotcom bubble coming early. Do you see similar warnings today? The market doesn’t seem as excited now. I think people are more anxious and worried. Paradoxically, it may be helping support the markets. People might buy stocks because they think that they might lose their job; they might be replaced by a robot. 2 Does the specter of a Donald Trump impeachment pose a risk to markets? If Trump were to be impeached, that seems to me such an intense thing, I think it would hurt the stock market. I think we’d have real anger and protests. 3 The stock market’s volatility has remained extremely low. Why? Volatility hasn’t been high in times of war. Similarly now, I think all of this talk about Donald J. Trump might be just distracting…

1 min.
tourists: china’s new political weapon

TOURISM WHEN THE first pieces of a controversial missiledefense system arrived in South Korea early this spring, China—which opposes its installation— responded with a weapon of its own: its tourists. Within days after the equipment arrived, Chinese tour operators began canceling trips and packages that would have sent travelers to South Korea, resulting in a 66% decrease in Chinese visitors to the country in April alone. South Korea isn’t the only target. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Japan have all experienced varying degrees of Beijing’s cruise ship diplomacy. It usually comes in the form of warnings from China’s tourism agency, bad press from state media, and messages to travel agents. The losses are potentially high: Some 133million Chinese tourists spent $261 billion abroad last year, up 20.2% over the year prior. Beijing encourages…